The popularity of biocubes is skyrocketing right now due to the low prices, ease of use, and range of things that you are able to do with the standard biocubes.
In addition to that, biocubes are heavily customizable too with there being dedicated communities based around customising their bio cubes and pushing them as far as possible.
One question that we have seen people asking about is the various biocube lighting schedules so we wanted to publish a dedicated article on the topic but all of the information in this article will be based on the stock Coralife unit, not the various after market lighting modification units that you can purchase separately.
There are a number of ways that you are able to set up your biocube lighting schedule to offer optimal lighting intensity and lighting variations for a range of different plants and animals with ease.
The combination of white and blue lights as well as the 12 hour ramp up and ramp down options make the stock biocube lighting unit very beginner friendly.
Please keep in mind that we have no way to know what you are keeping in your biocube so the information below in our article is more of a generic starting point that you are able to build on for your own biocube lighting schedule.
For the most part, some quick research for the specific fish, corals, anemones or whatever else you are keeping in your biocube will be able to give you an idea of the required lighting intensity required and then you can tweak the lighting schedule from there.
How Do I Program My Lights On My Biocube?
The stock lighting unit on all biocubes is very beginner friendly due to being based around three controls to let you program your lighting schedule as required.
The first setting controls your full intensity white lights. the second setting controls the sunrise/sunset ramp up and down with the third and final setting being the blue light intensity for your biocube.
You then use the easy to navigate menu on the lighting unit of your biocube to tweak all three of these settings as required for whatever you are keeping in your biocube.
Setting one is usually use to replicate daylight in most biocube setups with an eight to twelve hour uptime depending on the lighting intensity requirements for your tank that should be adjusted accordingly with time frames being shortened or extended as needed.
The main mistake that we see with biocube lighting schedules is with setting two as people mimic the sunrise and sunset in their local area.
The vast majority of people will be keeping things in their biocube from hundreds if not thousands of miles away with their local area potentially having longer or shorter days depending on their natural location to program setting two accordingly and not to your local sunrise and sunset times.
Although we would always recommend that you do have some blue light activation throughout the day on setting three of the biocube lighting unit, we do know that some tank setups do not need blue light at all.
This is why it is so important for you to research the lighting requirements of what you are keeping in your biocube and mimic the lighting requirements as needed.
Why Is The Lighting Schedule Important On Your Biocube?
Incorrect lighting intensity settings is one of the most common reasons that people who keep corals or anemones in their tanks have problems with but the user-friendly lighting control unit on biocubes make this easy to avoid.
You can quickly and easily tweak the lighting unit as required to offer optimal lighting conditions for a wide range of different fish, corals, and anemones.
It is important that you do set up an appropriate lighting schedule for your biocube that is suitable for the inhabitants of your tank as poor lighting be it too much or too little light can result in health problems.
Corals and some anemones can be extremely sensitive to light too while having a high price tag so the last thing you want to do is provide incorrect lighting for it and have it die on you.
If you are setting up your biocube as a display tank then it can be tempting to put more white light into the tank across the span of a day to make it easier to view the tank but this can go against you in some situations.
Too much light is rarely a good thing, especially with sensitive corals but it can also cause problems with nocturnal fish too as not everyone keeps diurnal fish in their biocubes.
Biocube 16 Lighting Schedule!
The biocube 16 is the entry-level biocube on the market and most people tend to keep more generic tank inhabitants in their biocube 16 that don’t require specialist lighting conditions.
The majority of biocube 16 lighting schedules can be based around an 8 to 10 hour white light window, a 30 minute ramp up and ramp down phase, and a blue light window depending on the requirements of the tank inhabitants.
Many experienced fish keepers and biocube users will keep multiple biocube 16 tanks and be doing some relatively specialist things with their tanks that need customized lighting schedules.
For example, a tank with corals in will often require a longer blue light time period than white light but this is often not the case for tanks with just fish.
Depending on exactly what you are trying to do with your biocube 16, you may want to get a custom aftermarket lighting unit that offers more control over the lighting schedule for your tank.
For the vast majority of our readers though, there will be no need to do this as the stock lighting unit that comes with your biocube is excellent and should be able to meet the requirements of most people.
Biocube 32 Lighting Schedule!
There is a larger number of advanced fish keepers using the biocube 32 who will need a more customised lighting schedule for their tank due to what they are keeping in there tank.
A good starting point for most people is an eight hour white light window, a thirty minute ramp up and ramp down period, and a sixteen to eighteen hour blue light window.
The longer blue light window is due to corals being very common in biocube 32 setups and blue light arguably being more important for many coral species than white light.
Again though, this is where your own research into exactly what you are keeping in your biocube will come into play and we do know many people who keep no corals in their biocube 32 so will require a shorter blue light window.
Just keep in mind that LC2, the light ramp up setting on the stock biocube lighting unit will start to ramp up at the FIRST time set in the lighting schedule.
We have seen some people program their ramp up setting incorrectly and accidentally go with full light intensity with no ramp up period and in some setups this can end up causing problems so keep this in mind if you are new to using a biocube.
Biocube Freshwater Lighting Schedule!
An increasing number of fish keepers are starting to use their biocube as a freshwater tank meaning that the blue light window in their lighting schedule is not as important for many setups.
Most people will be using an eight to twelve hour white light window with a thirty minute ramp up but some people will not need blue light at all with a shorter blue light window being common if used.
If the last year is anything to go by, we only expect the popularity of using a biociube as a freshwater tank to continue to increase so hope that we are able to help people realize that most freshwater tank setups do not need the same lighting schedule as a marine tank setup.
We have seen some people on social media just blindly copy the exact lighting schedule for a marine tank with lots of corals for their freshwater tank and end up having problems.
This is why we have been preaching so much about doing five to ten minutes of research on the lighting requirements of what you intend to keep in your biocube.
You may find that some of the tank mates that you were intending to keep in your biocube require totally different lighting schedules and may not be good tank mates after all.
We know that some custom lighting setups for a biocube with after market light mods can make it easy to provide different lighting schedules but its usually better to do this in a regular aquarium if needed than a small biocube.
That brings our article going over setting up your biocube lighting schedule to an end. We know that some people do worry about incorrectly setting up their lighting schedule on their tank but you can usually set a reminder on your smartphone when you program your lighting schedule to change and then double check that it is performing as programmed for the first day or two.